I have been camping once in my life. And when I say camping, I don't mean well-manicured park sites. I'm talking about the "if you get hurt this far out you'll probably die" type camping. It was one of my favorite experiences, and I think it's because it tapped into something many of us have forgotten.
We've streamlined, organized, and "life-hacked" our way into a very comfortable existence, and while that's great for efficiency's sake, there is a wall being built between modern society and the earth from which we came--a wall so strong yet subtle, generations to come might never know what waits on the other side. Donald Miller writes in Through Painted Deserts,
"In all our technology, we have lost touch with the earth, our heaters and air conditioners robbing us of the drama of seasons, our cars keeping our feet from pacing the land, our concrete and our shoes and our carpet delivering us from the feel of unprocessed earth. We live on top of the created world, I think to myself, not in it."
Every time I see a beautiful sunset, feel crisp air blow across my face, smell wood burning, it's almost as if it's accompanied by a nearly silent, beckoning whisper that says, "Return." Do you ever get that sense? Like something in creation and something in your soul are communicating with one another.
In my mind, my serene, peaceful "happy place" looks like mountains and woods, campfires and countless stars, no cell service and long conversations. You can't live in this place, but it's a necessary retreat for the heart and mind, a needed getaway, a resistance against the wall that's being built between us and where we came from.
Books I recommend: